1Now when these things were accomplished, the princes approached me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the nations of the lands, notwithstanding their abominations, from the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the 'Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Emorites;
2For they have taken of their daughters for themselves and for their sons; and the holy seed have mingled themselves with the nations of these lands; and the hand of the princes and rulers hath been the first in this trespass.
3And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and I plucked out some of the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astounded.
4And then assembled themselves unto me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the trespass of the exiles; and I sat astounded until the evening sacrifice.
5And at the evening sacrifice I rose up from my fasting, and while rending my garment and my mantle, I knelt down upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the Lord my God.
6And I said, O my God, I am ashamed and confounded to lift up my face unto thee, my God! for our iniquities are increased above our head, and our guiltiness is grown up as far as the heavens.
7From the days of our fathers have we been in a great guiltiness even until this day; and through our iniquities have we been delivered, we, our kings, and our priests, into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to the shame of face, as it is this day.
8And now for a little moment hath grace been extended from the Lord our God, to preserve us a remnant to escape, and to give us a stake in his holy place, that our God might enlighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.
9For we are bondmen: yet in our bondage hath our God not forsaken us, but hath extended unto us kindness before the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to exalt the house of our God, and to erect again its ruins, and to give us a fence in Judah and in Jerusalem.
10And now what shall we say, O our God, after this? for we have forsaken thy commandments,
11Which thou hast commanded through means of thy servants the prophets, saying, The land, unto which ye go to take possession thereof, is a land defiled through the defilement of the nations of the lands, through their abominations, with which they have filled it from one end to another through their uncleanness.
12And now your daughters shall ye not give unto their sons, and their daughters shall ye not take for your sons, and ye shall not seek their peace and their welfare unto eternity: in order that ye may be strong, and eat the best of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children unto eternity.
13And after all that is come over us for our evil deeds, and for our great guiltiness, seeing that thou our God hast spared us punishing us less than our iniquities deserved, and hast given us such deliverance as this:
14Should we again make void thy commandments, and make marriage with these people of abominations? wouldst thou not be angry with us even to make an end of us, so that there would not be any remnant or escape?
15O Lord, God of Israel, thou art righteous; for we have been left a remnant that hath escaped, as it is this day; behold, we are before thee in our guiltiness; for there is no standing before thee because of this.